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Dads DO matter: Why children brought up by BOTH parents are happier and more successful

Father's love good for children / Children with active fathers 'less likely' to be disturbed

Several articles from a circulating email FYI.

Who'd have thought that Dads were important to children?!!

And that two parents in children's lives is the best parenting for children?!!
Anna Anna Sarkadi

Latest Paper: http://lib.bioinfo.pl/pmid:18052995

Acta Paediatr. 2007 December 3; 18052995

Fathers' involvement and children's developmental outcomes: a systematic review of longitudinal studies.

Anna Sarkadi 1,4, Robert Kristiansson 2, Frank Oberklaid 3, Sven Bremberg 4

Objective: This systematic review aims to describe longitudinal evidence on the effects of father involvement on children's developmental outcomes.

Methods: Father involvement was conceptualized as accessibility (cohabitation), engagement, responsibility or other complex measures of involvement. Both biological fathers and father figures were included. We searched all major databases from the first dates. Data on father involvement had to be generated at least 1 year before measuring offspring outcomes.

Results: N = 24 publications were included in the overview: 22 of these described positive effects of father involvement, whereof 16 studies had controlled for SES and 11 concerned the study population as a whole [five socio-economic status (SES)-controlled]. There is certain evidence that cohabitation with the mother and her male partner is associated with less externalising behavioural problems. Active and regular engagement with the child predicts a range of positive outcomes, although no specific form of engagement has been shown to yield better outcomes than another. Father engagement seems to have differential effects on desirable outcomes by reducing the frequency of behavioural problems in boys and psychological problems in young women, and enhancing cognitive development, while decreasing delinquency and economic disadvantage in low SES families.

Conclusions: There is evidence to support the positive influence of father engagement on offspring social, behavioural and psychological outcomes. Although the literature only provides sufficient basis for engagement (direct interaction with the child) as the specific form of 'effective' father involvement, there is enough support to urge both professionals and policy makers to improve circumstances for involved fathering.

Correspondence: A Sarkadi, Dept. of Women's and Chidren's Health, Unit for Child Public Health, Uppsala Academic Hospital, Gate 17, 751 85 Uppsala, Sweden. Tel: +46 18 611 59 65 | Fax: +46 18 50 45 11 | Email: Anna.Sarkadi@kbh.uu.se

1.Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University, Sweden 2.Centre of Clinical Research, Västerås County, Sweden 3.Centre for Community Child Health, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia 4.National Institute of Public Health, Östersund, Sweden
On 13 February 2008 the Daily News & Analysis (DNA India) said
Father's love good for children

London: Father's love proves beneficial for children to behave better and learn more, a study shows.

A good relationship between fathers and children had a positive effect that could last for decades as father's love goes far in a child's life, researchers found.

''Overall, children reap positive benefits if they have active and regular engagement with a father figure,'' Daily Mail quoted Anna Sarkadi, of Sweden's Uppsala University as saying.

''Children who had positively involved father figures were less likely to smoke and get into trouble with the police, achieved better levels of education and developed good friendship with children of both the sexes,'' she added.

In low-income homes regular contact also lead to less juvenile crime.

The study showed the value of the father's input as a role model from babyhood to the teenage years.

The smallest study focused on 17 infants and the largest covered 8,441 people ranging from premature babies to 33-year-olds.

It was found that children who lived with both the mother and father had fewer behavioural problems than those who lived with their mother only.

Behavioural problems in boys, and psychological problems in girls, were seen less frequent. Intelligence, reasoning and language were more advanced in children who had good contact with both the parents.

''Fathers and mothers complement each other and together provide a rich care within the family which can't be replicated in any other setting,'' she concluded.
On 13 February 2008 In the News > Health Story said
Children with active fathers 'less likely' to be disturbed

Children brought up by an active father figure are less likely to develop psychological and behavioural problems, according to a new investigation.

Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden have carried out a review of studies published in the US and UK between 1987 and 2007 and found that regular positive contact between a child and a father figure decreased the likelihood of children taking up smoking or being arrested.

Published in the February issue of the Acta Paediatrica journal, the study also revealed that children who lived with both a mother and father figure had less behavioural problems than those brought up solely by their mother.

Dr Anna Sarkadi from the Department of Women's and Children's Health at Uppsala University explained that children who talked regularly and shared activities with their fathers "achieved better levels of education and developed good friendships with children of both sexes".

"Long-term benefits included women who had better relationships with partners and a greater sense of mental and physical wellbeing at the age of 33 if they had a good relationship with their father at 16," she added.

Although Dr Sarkadi added that further research is needed to ascertain whether the positive outcomes depend on the father figure being the child's biological father, she added that the research "backs up the intuitive assumption that engaged biological fathers or father figures are good for children, especially when the children are socially or economically disadvantaged".

The research examined 24 papers published within the 20-year period, which covered 22,300 individual sets of data from 16 studies, the smallest of which looked at 17 children while the largest detailed 8,441 people.

The researchers hope the study will inspire governments and healthcare professionals to stress the importance of fatherly involvement in child rearing.
On 12 February 2008 the Science Daily said
Children Who Have An Active Father Figure Have Fewer Psychological And Behavioural Problems

Active father figures have a key role to play in reducing behaviour problems in boys and psychological problems in young women, according to a review published in the February issue of Acta Paediatrica.

Swedish researchers also found that regular positive contact reduces criminal behaviour among children in low-income families and enhances cognitive skills like intelligence, reasoning and language development.

Children who lived with both a mother and father figure also had less behavioural problems than those who just lived with their mother.

The researchers are urging healthcare professionals to increase fathers' involvement in their children's healthcare and calling on policy makers to ensure that fathers have the chance to play an active role in their upbringing.

The review looked at 24 papers published between 1987 and 2007, covering 22,300 individual sets of data from 16 studies. 18 of the 24 papers also covered the social economic status of the families studied.

The smallest study focused on 17 infants and the largest covered 8,441 individuals ranging from premature babies to 33 year-olds. They included major ongoing research from the USA and UK, together with smaller studies from Sweden and Israel.

"Our detailed 20-year review shows that overall, children reap positive benefits if they have active and regular engagement with a father figure" says Dr Anna Sarkadi from the Department of Women's and Children's Health at Uppsala University, Sweden.

"For example, we found various studies that showed that children who had positively involved father figures were less likely to smoke and get into trouble with the police, achieved better levels of education and developed good friendships with children of both sexes.

"Long-term benefits included women who had better relationships with partners and a greater sense of mental and physical well-being at the age of 33 if they had a good relationship with their father at 16."

However the authors point out that it is not possible to conclude what type of engagement the father figure needs to provide to produce positive effects.

"The studies show that it can range from talking and sharing activities to playing an active role in the child's day-to-day care."

The researchers believe that more research is needed to determine whether the outcomes are different depending on whether the child lives with their biological father or with another father figure.

"However, our review backs up the intuitive assumption that engaged biological fathers or father figures are good for children, especially when the children are socially or economically disadvantaged" says Dr Sarkadi.

"Children who lived with both a mother and father figure had less behavioural problems than those who lived with just their mother. However, it is not possible to tell whether this is because the father figure is more involved or whether the mother is able to be a better parent if she has more support at home."

The researchers feel that it is important that professionals who work with young children and their families explore how actively fathers are involved with their children from an early age.

"Involving them in healthcare visits and explicitly seeking their opinions when making decisions could be a good way to promote high levels of engagement" says Dr Sarkadi. "Stressing that fathers have an important role in promoting their child's social and emotional development is another good strategy."

Governments and employers also have an important role to play in ensuring that men can spend quality time with their offspring, stress the authors.

"Public policy has the potential to facilitate or create barriers to fathers spending time with their children during the crucial years of early development" says Dr Sarkadi.

"Unfortunately current institutional policies in most countries do not support the increased involvement of fathers in child rearing. Paid parental leave for fathers and employers sympathetic to fathers staying at home with sick children is still a dream in most countries.

"We hope that this review will add to the body of evidence that shows that enlightened father-friendly policies can make a major contribution to society in the long run, by producing well-adjusted children and reducing major problems like crime and antisocial behaviour."

Journal reference: Fathers' involvement and children's developmental outcomes: a systematic review of longitudinal studies. Sarkadi et al. Acta Paediatrica. 97.2, pp 153-158. (February 2008). Adapted from materials provided by Blackwell Publishing Ltd., via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-02/bpl-cwh021208.php

Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:

APA - Blackwell Publishing Ltd. (2008, February 12). Children Who Have An Active Father Figure Have Fewer Psychological And Behavioral Problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 14, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080212095450.htm

MLA - Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "Children Who Have An Active Father Figure Have Fewer Psychological And Behavioral Problems." ScienceDaily 12 February 2008. 14 February 2008 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080212095450.htm
On 13 February 2008 the Daily Mail said
Dads DO matter: Why children brought up by BOTH parents are happier and more successful
By Jenny Hope

Children behave better, learn more and are better adjusted if their father is involved in their lives, a major study shows.

Researchers found that a good relationship between youngsters and fathers had a positive effect that could last for two decades.

In low-income homes, regular contact was also seen to lead to less juvenile crime.

Anna Sarkadi, of Sweden's Uppsala University, where the research was carried out, said: "Our detailed 20-year review shows that overall, children reap positive benefits if they have active and regular engagement with a father figure.

"We found various studies that showed that children who had positively involved father figures were less likely to smoke and get into trouble with the police, achieved better levels of education and developed good friendships with children of both sexes.

"Long-term benefits included women who had better relationships with partners and a greater sense of mental and physical well-being at the age of 33 if they had a good relationship with their father at 16.

"It may seem obvious that what's worked for centuries is good for individuals and society, but that's what we found."

She said the studies showed the value of the father's input as a role model from babyhood to the teenage years.

The review, published in the latest issue of the journal Acta Paediatrica, looked at 24 papers published between 1987 and 2007.

The smallest study focused on 17 infants and the largest covered 8,441 people ranging from premature babies to 33-year-olds.

As well as examining research from Sweden and Israel, the Uppsala team looked at large-scale studies in the U.S. and the UK.

They found that children who lived with both a mother and father figure had fewer behavioural problems than those who lived with their mother only.

Behavioural problems in boys, and psychological problems in girls, were also less frequent. Intelligence, reasoning and language were more advanced in children who had good contact with both parents.

The researchers said it was not clear whether living with a biological father confers an advantage over living with a father figure alone.

"Our review backs up the intuitive assumption that engaged biological fathers or father figures are good for children, especially when the children are socially or economically disadvantaged," added Dr Sarkadi.

"Children who lived with both a mother and father figure had less behavioural problems than those who lived with just their mother.

"However, it is not possible to tell whether this is because the father figure is more involved or whether the mother is able to be a better parent if she has more support."

Norman Wells, of Family and Youth Concern, an independent charity, said the study showed that fathers were not an optional extra.

"Fathers and mothers complement each other and together provide a richness of care within the family that you can't replicate in any other setting," he added.
Father's love good for children
13 February 2008

Father's love proves beneficial for children to behave better and learn more, a study shows.

A good relationship between fathers and children had a positive effect that could last for decades as father's love goes far in a child's life, researchers found.

''Overall, children reap positive benefits if they have active and regular engagement with a father figure,'' Daily Mail quoted Anna Sarkadi, of Sweden's Uppsala University as saying.

''Children who had positively involved father figures were less likely to smoke and get into trouble with the police, achieved better levels of education and developed good friendship with children of both the sexes,'' she added.

In low-income homes, regular contact also lead to less juvenile crime.

The study showed the value of the father's input as a role model from babyhood to the teenage years. The smallest study focused on 17 infants and the largest covered 8,441 people ranging from premature babies to 33-year-olds. It was found that children who lived with both the mother and father had fewer behavioural problems than those who lived with their mother only. Behavioural problems in boys, and psychological problems in girls, were seen less frequent.

Intelligence, reasoning and language were more advanced in children who had good contact with both the parents. ''Fathers and mothers complement each other and together provide a rich care within the family which can't be replicated in any other setting,'' she concluded.
SoftPedia said
Father's Presence Improves the Behaviour and Mental Skills of the Children - Biological father or father figure?
By Stefan Anitei, Science Editor

George Michael ("Father Figure" song) knows it. Active father figures are crucial in mitigating behaviour issues in young men and psychological ones in young women, as revealed by a Swedish meta-analysis published in the journal "Acta Paediatrica." Regular positive contact decreases criminal behaviour in young people coming from low-income families, boosting their cognitive skills such as intelligence, reasoning and language ability.

The team analysed the results of 24 studies published between 1987 and 2007, made on 22,300 subjects, aged 0 to 33, from the US, UK, Sweden and Israel. 18 researches also assessed the familial social economic status.

"Our detailed 20-year review shows that overall, children reap positive benefits if they have active and regular engagement with a father figure," said Dr. Anna Sarkadi from the Department of Women's and Children's Health at Uppsala University, Sweden.

"For example, we found various studies that showed that children who had positively involved father figures were less likely to smoke and get into trouble with the police, achieved better levels of education and developed good friendships with children of both sexes. Long-term benefits included women who had better relationships with partners and a greater sense of mental and physical well-being at the age of 33 if they had a good relationship with their father at 16. The studies show that (the type pf engagement of the father figure) can range from talking and sharing activities to playing an active role in the child's day-to-day care," said Sarkadi.

But these researches do not make the difference between the biological father and other father figure.

"However, our review backs up the intuitive assumption that engaged biological fathers or father figures are good for children, especially when the children are socially or economically disadvantaged. Children who lived with both a mother and father figure had less behavioural problems than those who lived with just their mother. However, it is not possible to tell whether this is because the father figure is more involved or whether the mother is able to be a better parent if she has more support at home," said Sarkadi.

"Public policy has the potential to facilitate or create barriers to fathers spending time with their children during the crucial years of early development. Unfortunately current institutional policies in most countries do not support the increased involvement of fathers in child rearing. Paid parental leave for fathers and employers sympathetic to fathers staying at home with sick children is still a dream in most countries. We hope that this review will add to the body of evidence that shows that enlightened father-friendly policies can make a major contribution to society in the long run, by producing well-adjusted children and reducing major problems like crime and antisocial behavior," she added.
Nice to see a study done over such a long period through a time when it was considered the best interest of the child to leave them with their mothers and try and edge dad out of the picture.

It gives a good snap shot of this time and the important finding that gives grace to implement more time with dads as well as the important role step fathers can play.

I didn't understand the relevance to George Michael unless he was part of the research, it's a strange little thing to add?

"Father Figure" song by George Michael

To answer D4E's question: apparently, and I didn't know this either until this article, not being a George Michael sort of bloke myself, he sang a song entitled "Father Figure".

Here's an excerpt, from very 'muddled' lyrics (in my opinion):
George Michael said
Father Figure

I will be your father figure
Put your tiny hand in mine
I will be your preacher teacher
Anything you have in mind
I will be your father figure
I have had enough of crime
I will be the one who loves you
Until the end of time
Well that's my new thing learnt for today. I really didn't expect but I should have realized how the people who you think are immune to such things can surprise.

I know it was very strong lyrics that induced me to listen to M&M and believe it, or Pink, of course I'm saying I like the rest of the music but both dealt with how youths felt about separation and parenting.

Uhhm, I take GM's lyrics to be that he is a replacement for a father and thus implying that father's can be dispensed with.

Perhaps I'm just too cynical. :)
Perhaps these days with extended families being the way they are and single professional mothers choosing to be inseminated rather than starting a family with a loved one combined with a trend of same sex couples adopting and with surrogate mothers and such this could supply the only Father Figure a child may know.
The are also a few step dads out there that may also agree with the sentiment if the child's biological father has abandon them or not on the scene. Unfortunately and against my core beliefs there are some men out there that just do not want to accept fatherhood.

So I don't know maybe it's saying that although I'm not your dad I'll try my hardest to be a close assimilatey and be there to do dad things.

But the real world sometimes is not like it is in my mind so you may well be right Mike.  
The real world also has mother figures who unfortunately discard their responsibility, what if:
Nobody said
Mother Figure

I will be your mother figure
Put your tiny hand in mine
I will be your preacher teacher
Anything you have in mind
I will be your mother figure
I have had enough of crime
I will be the one who loves you
Until the end of time
Wondering whether preacher teacher should be changed though.

Would the feel of the music change as well?

P.S. I immediately understood the inclusion of GM, although didn't think it the most apt thing to include, there again what else?
Most likely just name dropping to effectively get people to read to find out how GM is involved, of course it turns out to be some obscure reference to a song that I'd never heard, which could be viewed in a variety of ways.

Before DL mentioned the song I assumed the relation was to him growing up with out his dad on the scene.

And now I stall take a step down from my soap box and consider if this can be spun against fathers as would be considered by those would see us out of our kids lives.

One has to wonder how hard, when doing such surveys, especially considering the subject matter, it would have been to ascertain if the figure was a father or other male.

I have little doubt that too many will consider just any old male will do.
I think it would have been simple lack of foresight or not essential for the study topic.

I personally do not believe any old male will do and I'm sure many on the forum picked their partner for how well friendship developed between the prospect and the kids and vise versa.

But no doubt when a male is ask to fill in for the father and discipline them as well as take on the matriarchal role for the whole family, problems do occur. As happened with myself I was dumb and naive which meant I let their mother instruct me on how to parent her children and do the best I could for them.

A complex set of events that I now know better from.

But then I was ask to accept someone who issued corporal punishment on his own children to be in my daughters life. You can guess what she wanted from him as far as the kids went, needless to say it hasn't happened with my daughter but the next one up will call anyone dad who his mum is with.

Thats all subject for another topic though.

     
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